english practice in a richyrocks song for brazil

the olympics have started in brazil. unfortunately, there has been a lot of negative media coverage leading up to (in anticipation of) today’s innaugural ceremony. the zika virus, the impeachement of president dilma rousseff and the discovery of raw sewage in water that will be used for olympic competitions are problems that have been in the news for several weeks.

rio 2016--olympics in brazil

these conditions did not inspire me to write another song, but the richyrocks youtube channel does still feature this song celebrating the 2014 world cup in brazil.

brazil’s world cup was also criticized severely beforehand. big investment in football stadiums was protested locally as many brazilians believed the nation’s poor people were being ignored.  the words to song for brasil2014 are sympathetic to the complicated equilibrium between the passion for sports and social responsibility, and there are many useful examples for english learners.

 (1:05) they oughta hold it every year.

oughta is a reduction of ought to (not to be confused with outta which is a reduction of out of). it is identical in definition to should. hold is often used in reference to the organization of a meeting or an event. the sentiment of the lyrics is that the world cup should be an annual event.

tokyo 2020 olympics in japan
tokyo will try to make the 2020 olympics the best one yet.

(1:20) try to make the next one even better, the best one yet

comparatives and superlatives are presented in the first lessons of english education, but are the source of many mistakes for students of all levels. better compares this world cup with the next one. the best indicates #1 of all time.

(1:35) an answer i haven’t got, (2:07) what u got when u ignore?, (2:45) what u ain’t got

there are several examples of the have got structure that represents possession of something, in other words, a substitute for the verb have. what u got? is a reduction of the question what have u got?  in the negative,  hasn’t got and haven’t got can be replaced by ain’t in informal communication.

graffiti from before the 2014 world cup in brazil
brazilian graffiti (in english) from before the 2014 world cup

 (2:30) i don’t know shit.

another shit expression.  this one means i don’t know anything. it’s not a reference to sewage issues.

(2:35) try and circumvent this unrest

this is probably the fanciest (ornamental, not basic) vocab in the song.  an easier way to say it is avoid (circumvent) the protests (unrest) that world cup projects in brazil provoked.

fabiana claudinho
fabiana claudino will play for her third consecutive olympic gold medal with brazil’s volleyball team.

(2:40) i’d rather talk about the winning shot than look directly at what u ain’t got.

would rather + verb shows a preference. in this example, the idea is that it is preferable to talk about football as opposed to the poverty that exists in brazil and other countries.

fun english practice :) richyrocks english on youtube

are u excited about the rio olympics? what are your feelings about the negative publicity that brazil has received as host of the 2014 world cup and the 2016 olympics? share your opinion under leave a reply.


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